So here’s my theory. The “herbs” that get consumed in the brass brazier is really just half a pound of pot. That explains why you’ve got to spend 10 gold (the equivalent of $2,850) on every casting of find familiar. During the ritual, the caster has to get sufficiently high to vividly imagine that their familiar is really something else. Only through a supreme state of stoned giggling can the mage’s mind alter reality enough to make this vision true. Thus, after breathing in the charcoal/incense/”””herbs””” combination for an hour, you wind up with a octopus where before you had a spider.

“Um, dudes? What if like… spiders were really just land octopuses? Octopi? Octopussen. Giggle snort.”

But I digress. The incidental money-sink that is magecraft is our proper subject here. High-price material components, random reagents, and the costs associated with spell research and transcription all conspire to nickel and dime you to death. This matters more in some situations than others.

When you’re in the early stages of a campaign, arguing about staying at “the good inn” or whether you can afford to not randomly die, the costs of transforming your cat into a bird for recon can seem like a big deal. You’ll often see permission-asking from the party mage.

“Guys? Does anyone mind if I use my abilities? Is it OK to grab some of the party funds?”

That’s just a polite formality though, because I rarely see groups objecting to this biz. If you aren’t specifically shooting for a gritty low-fantasy campaign, you leave behind these concerns in a hurry. After the party’s first major quest, the money usually flows fast and free. Minor component costs and research fees become rounding errors, and only the major magical purchases are worth mentioning.

“Alight guys. We need a 10,000 gp diamond. Let’s all give to @ResurrectDaRogue’s GoFundMe campaign.”

Maybe it’s just my group, but I can’t see too many players begrudging these incidentals. In my mind, casters are like traveling shops that adventure with the party. You pay a little gold, you get a little benefit. It just happens to be attached to a PC rather than a brick-and-mortar storefront.

So for today’s discussion question, I’m genuinely curious to hear some opinions. Who spends more money in your party, casters or melee characters? Does the question of “party resources” ever come up as a point of contention, or do you find that players are generally A-OK with financing a spell habit? Tell us all about your own magical slush funds down in the comments!


ARE YOU THE KIND OF DRAGON THAT HOARDS ART? Then you’ll want to check out the “Epic Hero” reward level on our Handbook of Heroes Patreon. Like the proper fire-breathing tyrant you are, you’ll get to demand a monthly offerings suited to your tastes! Submit a request, and you’ll have a personalized original art card to add to your hoard. Trust us. This is the sort of one-of-a-kind treasure suitable to a wyrm of your magnificence.